Shakti Mills rape victim seeks relief, writes to rights panelhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/shakti-mills-rape-victim-seeks-relief-writes-to-rights-panel/

Shakti Mills rape victim seeks relief, writes to rights panel

The victim has stated that the police did not include sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act at the time of FIR.

Ten months after she was raped by five people in the Shakti Mills compound, the 19-year old victim, who worked as a telephone operator, has written to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes seeking monetary compensation citing her family’s poor financial condition. The victim belongs to the Valmiki community, a scheduled caste.

“I am currently studying in the 10th standard in a night school. After the traumatic incident, I have been unable to go back to work. I am still undergoing medical treatment, both physical and psychological, and my mother is unable to meet these expenses any further. My father has passed away and since then, my mother, two sisters and I have been struggling to make ends meet. We are currently facing immense financial hardship,” she has written in her letter.

The victim has stated that the police did not include sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act at the time of registering the FIR in the case. Under this Act, she would have been eligible for a compensation of Rs 1.20 lakh along with educational support, employment, agricultural land and a house.

“I should not suffer due to the negligence of the investigating and prosecuting agencies,” the victim has now written in her letter.
Earlier, the victim had approached the state’s ST/SC panel, which told her it was “too late” for it to intervene since the trial in the case had already been concluded.

The state government had set up the ‘Manodhairya Yojana’ with a corpus of Rs 5 crore after the Shakti Mills gangrapes. However, Ujjwal Uke, principal secretary, women and child department, said the compensation could not be paid to the victims with retrospective effect.
Four of the five accused in the case were sentenced to life imprisonment earlier this year. The fifth accused, a minor, is still facing trial before the Juvenile Justice Board.

sukanya.shetty@expressindia.com